Neom, the ambitious urban development initiative in Saudi Arabia, is deepening its foray into the digital world.
Through a strategic investment and alliance with Animoca Brands, a recognized leader in blockchain gaming and the metaverse, Neom aims to leverage blockchain and Web3 technologies in its vast developmental plans.
Neom’s alleged drive to be at the forefront of technological advancement received a significant boost with its strategic alliance with Animoca Brands. As the two giants agree, Neom’s Vision 2030—its blueprint for a futuristic, sustainable city—promises to be infused with innovations from the metaverse and blockchain ecosystems.
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To bolster this partnership, Neom has committed to investing $50 million in Animoca Brands. $25 million will be used to acquire convertible notes directly from the company, while the remaining funds will be directed to purchase Animoca shares in the secondary market.
Majid Mufti, CEO of Neom Investment Fund, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration.
“Web3 technology and infrastructure will not only lay the groundwork for Neom’s digital architecture, but they also have the potential to redefine global industries.”
Animoca Brands: An Industry Powerhouse
This partnership is not merely a financial venture for Neom. Animoca Brands brings unparalleled expertise in blockchain-based services, having been a dominant player in the blockchain gaming and metaverse investment sectors. The company, valued at $5.9 billion, boasts a diverse portfolio, backing influential Web3 companies like OpenSea, NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs, and Axie Infinity game studio Sky Mavis.
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, viewed the collaboration grandly.
“Neom could become the first region to harness the transformative power of blockchain fully. We’ve always seen the growth of Web3 as the rise of a new meta-nation.”
Neom’s aspirations go beyond being just another urban development. The colossal 34,000-square-mile project in the Tabuk Province of Saudi Arabia is envisioned as a model metropolis that integrates emerging technologies with sustainable, green energy solutions.
Despite facing criticism over issues like the alleged forced eviction of local tribe members, the project, with its projected $500 billion budget, intends to redefine urban living by integrating the latest technological advancements.
The NEOM investment fund
In light of these massive developmental goals, the inauguration of the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF) couldn’t have been more timely. Established as NEOM’s strategic investment arm, NIF aims to facilitate the city’s growth across its 14 prioritized sectors, from job creation to technological evolution.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, highlighted NIF’s critical role, stating that the fund is pivotal in converting Neom’s ambitious visions into tangible realities. He further emphasized its contribution to the Kingdom’s long-term ambitions, reinforcing economic diversification and job growth.
Investing in the future
NIF is not limiting its investments to Animoca Brands alone. Several companies, including Pony.ai, Regent, and Boom Technology, are also on its radar.
Majid Mufti shared his perspective on NIF’s strategy.
“By aligning with innovators and institutional investors, we’re de-risking opportunities for them, enabling the creation of global growth businesses in NEOM. Over time, this approach will solidify NEOM as a benchmark for sustainable economic progress.”
As Neom progresses, the partnership with Animoca Brands highlights its aim to integrate digital and sustainable solutions. By merging its goals with blockchain and metaverse technologies, Neom seeks to establish new standards in urban development.